For a list of the other Gatorade State Girls Basketball POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Ieshia Small
School: Florida (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Athletic achievement: She averaged 23.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.2 steals, 5.0 assists and 1.4 blocks per game this past season, leading the Seminoles (23-7) to the Class 4A state quarterfinals. A McDonald’s High School All-American Game selection, Small averaged 33.7 points, 8.3 steals, 7.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists in three Class 4A regional tournament games. Also a 2012 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team Trials invitee, she averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for Orlando’s Dr. Phillips High during the 2011-12 season, leading the Panthers to the Class 8A state championship game as a junior.
Academic excellence: Small has maintained a 3.13 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: She has donated her time locally as a youth basketball instructor.
“Her passion for the game speaks for itself,” said Dione Smith, head coach of rival Godby (Tallahassee, Fla.). “She would do anything to try and will her team to a victory. She is definitely a person who tries to involve all persons on the floor to be involved in the game regardless of their talent level.”
THE FUTURE: Small remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.